Thursday, March 31, 2011

NJDEP Petition To Require Emission Limit On Pennsylvania Power Plant

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to grant a petition submitted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to limit sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from a Pennsylvania power plant that are adversely impacting air quality in four New Jersey counties. The proposed rule, when final, would require the Portland Generating Station in Northampton County, PA to reduce its SO2 emissions by 81 % over a 3-year period.

Under the Clean Air Act, when a facility impacts air quality in another state, the affected state can petition EPA and request that the facility be required to reduce its impact. In a September 2010 petition, New Jersey asked EPA to find that the Portland power plant is impacting the state’s air quality and to require the facility to reduce its SO2 emissions. Both agencies believe these emission reductions can be achieved using proven and widely available pollution control methods.

NJDEP conducted several air quality modeling analyses to evaluate SO2 levels in the state. According to NJDEP, these analyses showed that the level of SO2 in the air is exceeding the agency’s 1-hour national air quality standard and that the Portland Generating Station is the main source of emissions. EPA also conducted its own modeling analyses and found the same results. EPA is accepting comments on the proposal until May 27, 2011.

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